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THE CONSTRUCTIONAL STRUCTURE AND ITS RELATION TO FORM IN LATE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET)
Volume 10, Issue 04, April 2019, pp. 1432–1441, Article ID: IJCIET_10_04_150
Available online at http://www.iaeme.com/ijmet/issues.asp?JType=IJCIET&VType=10&IType=4
ISSN Print: 0976-6308 and ISSN Online: 0976-6316
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THE CONSTRUCTIONAL STRUCTURE AND ITS
RELATION TO FORM IN LATE
CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
Waleed Khaled Yasser
(Ph.D. Student), Faculty of Architecture,
University of Technology, Iraq
Dr. Abbas Ali Hamza
Assistant Professor (Faculty Member)
Faculty of Architecture, University of Technology, Iraq
ABSTRACT
The scientific and technological progress that we are witnessing today can be
considered as two main pillars of the development of any society. This in turn has a
clear impact on the development of architecture on both its theoretical and practical
sides. Consequently, architectural design is influenced by this technological
development. The architectural and structural designers began using the latest
technologies in the design and implementation processes In order to reflect the
architectural output, especially in the field of digitalization, which rely mainly on
technology in all aspects of formality, construction and informatics.
The aim of the research is to demonstrate the relationship between architectural
form and constructional structure on the timeline, which can be determined from
postmodern to the era of continuous digital revolution by shedding light on the nature
of the relationship and its philosophy between form and structure, as well as
knowledge of the sources of knowledge affecting their production and form.
The research concluded by noting that the attention shifted from (making the form)
to (finding form) by employing many digital generation techniques that varied their
intellectual references and formal possibilities between non-Euclidean and nonquantitative geometry, algorithmic and parametric numerical modeling, and genetic
algorithm, which provided a rich repertoire of remittances that contributed to the
concept of formal possibilities.
Key words: Constructional structure, form, relationship type, architectural output, postmodern
architecture, digital revolution, intellectual references, formal possibilities.
Cite this Article: Waleed Khaled Yasser and Dr. Abbas Ali Hamza, The Constructional
Structure and its Relation to form in Late Contemporary Architecture, International Journal of
Civil Engineering and Technology 10(4), 2019, pp. 1432–1441.
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The Constructional Structure and its Relation to form in Late Contemporary Architecture
1. INTRODUCTION
The nature of the relationship between the constructional structure and the form or the
architectural output, either be the product of architecture or be a part of it as the essence of it,
as for abstract theoretical understanding, the role of constructional structure in the
composition of architecture four directions:
The first direction: The constructional structure is a means of producing architectural
form. 
- The second direction: one of the basic principles of architecture within the trilogy of utility
and beauty.

- The third direction: The constructional structure is a measure that depends on the
relationship between man and architecture.
Symbolic characteristics. - The fourth direction: The constructional structure is the basic
function of construction.
The constructional structure of a building is determined by an objective approach by the
designer based on equations and mathematical relations, or the constructional structure is
chosen in a subjective approach by the designer based on aesthetic facts inherent in the
constructional structure. Sometimes the designer combines the two approaches in order to
consider that the constructional structure has it carries structural, aesthetic, symbolic
properties. The aesthetic characteristics of the constructional structure are accentuated by the
use of the concept of pattern and the repetition of patterns of structural systems to generate
new forms. The function will be accompanied by the pure operation of the building within
the stability of the building (aesthetic function), the building is a pattern of balance between
power and shape.
2. NEED FOR THE STUDY
As a step toward gaining a better understanding the relationship between structure and shape
or architectural output for an important period in the history of architecture. This gives the
students the ability to analyze the buildings and to know the type of relationship between the
structure and shape and the period of those buildings. On the other hand, this study provides
students with the knowledge and ability to choose the type of relationship between structure
and shape in the process of designing any building by adopting scientific principles and
concepts that result in the election of a reasonable and clear architecture.
3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1-To know the constructional structure and form or architectural output, and the relationship
between them.
2-To analyze the types of relations between structure and form and the most appropriate
choice in architectural formation.
3-To learn students how can employ and coordinate the relationship between forms and
structure in the process of design of buildings in studio.
4 – To learn students how assess the strength and aesthetics and clarity of the relationship
between structure and form in design studio.
4. METHODOLOGY
As a first step to know the definition of constructional structure and the form of architecture
in general as well as through architectural studies in this aspect. And then move towards the
knowledge of the types of relations between the structure and form and the period of the
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architecture of modern and beyond, and on the other hand diagnosis the factors and principles
that influenced the relationship between the form and structure, which led to the production of
different types of architecture.
4.1. Concept of Constructional Structure
The word "construction" means the act or method of building or manufacturing something,
the word structure is a building or something constructed or made from a number of parts [1],
in the architectural studies, it has moved to several directions. The first direction is concerned
with its relation to architecture and considers it complementary to architecture. This came
from the fact that architecture is an appearance and a essence , that the constructional
structure considers essence[ 2], The second direction is that the structure is one of the three
principles of architecture, according to Vitruvius[3], Or structure is considered a means of
producing architectural form and at the same time affects human behavior[ 4] , The third
direction focused on the approach adopted to form the structure and determined by the
method of objectivity or method of subjectivity or both together , as in the study of (Collins)
on the objectivity side, because the constructional structure gives the characteristics of the
building is true by proportionality and the human scale [ 5] , It considers architecture to be the
art of organizing spaces. The subjectivity aspect emphasizes that the sense of beauty is
achieved only by the conscious desire to show the constructional structure explicit in pure and
conscious forms that differ from the ordinary structure [6].
4.2. Concept of Form
Al-Mawrid dictionary indicates that the form is a means of conveying ideas because it is an
expression of it, and comes in multiple forms, form, style or appearance, or is a homogeneous
structure consisting of a group of elements aware of relations, so that they are appropriate to
recognize the personal qualities of the mind that produces [7], or is the result of proper
content to regulate space for the building [8].
As architectural studies point to the relationship between form and architecture, the shape
represents the appearance of architecture that is related to its essence [9], or consider the form
as a later product of the function [10]. The studies associated with the theoretical side of it
confirmed that the form means clarity and beauty is far from ambiguity [11], the other point
of view is that there is a link between the form and the structure, because they have a common
properties so that each one needs the other [12].
4.3. Philosophy of the Relationship between Form and Constructional Structure
The relationship between the concept of form and the concept of structure can be determined
to be interrelated with different types of relationship, thus indicating their relation to
architecture [13], this relationship came in four patterns:

- The first pattern - a compact relationship, descriptively.

-The second pattern - the relationship of overlapping, within the dual appearance and essence

-The third pattern - sequential relationship, considering that the structure is a means of
producing architectural form.

-The fourth pattern - overlap with other concepts, the most important meaning or utilitarian or
story transfer information as in post - modern architecture.
The relationship between the concept of form and the concept of structure in modern
architecture, either represents the pattern of the integrated relationship, it is conspicuously
visible but with other aspects of contribution, the form here directly reflects the pattern of the
selected structural system, the expression of the form here is through direct response to the
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The Constructional Structure and its Relation to form in Late Contemporary Architecture
requirements of the structure in addition to the functional requirements and structural
materials, so we find the product express the openness , clarity , abstraction and simplicity.
In terms of the pattern of interrelationship, they are not clear in the modern architecture
because the form reflects the structure, this means that there is no separation between them as
a form, depth or essence and appearance, which is represented by the pattern of the
relationship between the form and the structure.
In terms of the pattern of the sequential relationship, it is clear through the intellectual
concept of the modern architecture "form follows function." The design mechanism depends
on the rational method in the design process and on the orthogonal grid as well as the patterns
of the structural systems to determine the form of production.
As for the fourth type of relationship between the form and structure and based on other
concepts, we note that the concept of meaning and the concept of beauty did not appear in the
modern architecture with kind of patterns, but appeared in strict dry patterns rejecting
tradition and symbolism and human representation, where beauty was associated with the
machine in terms of strength and durability forms.
As a result, the relationship between the concept of form and structure in the modern
architecture focused on the pattern of the integrated relationship and the pattern of the
sequential relationship, which in turn led to the emergence of the priority of the emergence of
constructional structure as a determinant of the form , which tends to it modern architecture.
4.4. Constructional Structure in Postmodern Architecture
The civil disintegration of the past and history, and the refusal of human representation
metaphorical form of the machine on the one hand, and the lack of expression of the meaning
associated with the abstract and pure forms of buildings of modern architecture, and their
focus on the functional and technological context as sources of creating new forms specific to
the requirements, function and structure, all of which led to the rejection of this architecture
and the emergence of the so-called postmodern architecture.
As a result, the relationship between the concept of form and the concept of constructional
structure can be determined in postmodern architecture, this relationship appears to be of the
type of interrelationship between a binary (appearance and essence), as well as the pattern of
the sequential relationship through series with the effect of the form on the structure , and also
the pattern of the interrelationship with other concepts like meaning , all of which led to the
emergence of the priority of the emergence of the form as a determinant of constructional
structure , which tends to it postmodern architecture.
More recently, some studies, including Jencks study, were published in 1969 an article in
1969 entitled "Meaning and Architecture, the study pointed out that Robert Venturi is the first
architect who made explicit use of the ideas of "citation" of historical forms in its structures
[14]. As a critic, he is considered a major contributor to laying the theoretical foundations for
the transition of architecture from modern to postmodernism stage.
Robert Venturi stressed that architecture is an appearance and an essence that derived its
meaning from its internal characteristics, its own environment and elements, as it is perceived
as form, structure, texture and material [15]. The postmodern architecture began to expand its
interests influenced by changes in other fields of knowledge, in other words, there has been a
shift in architecture.
These concepts have been reflected in changes in the products of the pioneers of
architecture and their new intellectual orientation, which led to the emergence of diversity in
the forms of buildings such as curves and forms of ceilings and walls and this reflects the
diversity and multiplicity of constructional structures used in those buildings.
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4.5. Form and constructional structure in architecture under the science of
complexity
In the book "The Architecture of the Jumping Universe," Jencks points out the emergence of
the theory of complexity, and asks about the change that occurs in architecture as opposed to
universe processes, energy and sudden jumps, folds and waves as in figure (1). The book
presents the basic ideas of complexity science and the presentation of many buildings based
on these new language.
Figure 1 Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain, 1992-97
Jencks pointed Eisenman is one of the most prominent architects who have dealt with the
origins of science since its early works in the late 1960s, which focused on Chomsky's theory
of deep structure, as well as on biological code DNA of the Center for Biological Sciences in
Frankfurt, as figure (2).
Figure 2 Bio center for the University of Frankfurt (1987), Germany
Jencks said the Chaos concept is related to the change in science and technology. He
believes that creative work must mediate between the absolute simplicity of the system and
the extreme complexity of chaos [16]. This gives the product its creative artistic quality,
which translates into a new, to various and varied readings. They may be random but creative.
Jencks also defined the concept of organizational depth as transforming the deep structure
of the building to the surface and that the overall architecture gained richness from its
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organizational depth rather than the plurality of its parts. He also pointed out that the
evaluation of any work of art or the product of architecture must know the simplicity or
complexity of the form in it, as noted in the description of the project (Pompidou Center)
emerged the property of the organizational depth at the level of all by showing the structural
structure in an explicit way to the surface to glorify construction technology, at the level of
the segment, self-analogy has emerged. Some of the human simulations, where the supports
that lift the outer structure and the protrusions from the main columns, are in turn overlapping
with the slender columns and with the steel intersections, as in figure(3).
Figure 3 Pompidou Center, Paris, France (1987-90)
4.6. The relationship of form and constructional structure in the resulting
architecture by digitization
The digital revolution and globalization produced thought and philosophy, now called digital
forms, which have spread widely in various fields, It is also possible to explain the inclusion
of the thought and philosophy of digital forms within the concept of modern plastic theories,
which respond to the requirements of this era with all the trends and theories renewed [17],
where architecture in the era of the dominance of digital techniques is the building forms free,
which adopt in their models or products intellectual references based on the science of
complexity and non-linear and folding concept, and their formal possibilities between nonEuclidean geometry and quantity, numerical modeling algorithm and parametric, genetic
algorithms [18].
The result is that it has provided a rich repertoire of remittances that have contributed to
the so-called "formal possibilities", and on the other hand seeks to bring about convergence
between the production of cyberspace and the systems and natural forms within the "digital
membership", which depends on the simulated side of the natural systems in the generation of
forms, relying on the use of the potential of automation and artificial intelligence [19].
Oxman identified the digital form at the level of cognitive knowledge references, four
main concepts [20], as in figure (4):
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Free Form
Morphology
Parameter
Performance
Figure 4 Cognitive knowledge references of digital form
The concept of "free form" refers to the relationship between the theoretical positions of
architecture with respect to the form and "formal possibilities" of the new production
capabilities within the non-standard architecture, through mass customization.
"Morphology" explains the "complexity" of the process of evolution and growth of the
form through "modeling the processes of natural form generation" as it is associated with the
method of "form and" self-regulation "in nature and simulated.
"Parametric" refers to an influential concept in the process of computer design and a
distinctive property of architecture in the digital age, which contributes to the exploration of
theological variations and transformations.
Performance is linked to the "performance-based design" approach, indicating the ability
to act according to the physical properties of a particular design, and confirming the transition
from "analytical simulations for evaluation to simulations for installation and generation",
performance design approaches are driven by th numerical output of the formula as a
measure of proper performance, and as a result, performance design strategies with close
affinity for biological engineering appear due to similarity in design thinking [21].
It can be pointed out that the concept of form in architecture by digitization has a role of
importance and dominance, as result, the form is considered as determinant to the
constructional structure. In order to determine the relation between the concept of form and
the structure in architecture resulting from the digitalization and through the four specific
patterns of this relationship. In the pattern of the integrated relationship between the concept
of form and the concept of structure in the architecture of the age of digitalism, it is clear, but
not as we found it in the modern architecture , in which the form reflected and defined the
structure.
In the pattern of the interrelationship between the concept of form and the concept of
constructional structure represented in essence and appearance, it is also evident in many of
the products of architecture in the digital age as a result of the use of high techniques based on
complex calculations of constructional structures that are sometimes detached from the shape
of the exterior.
As for the pattern of sequential relationship between the concept of form and the concept
of structure, it is clear as a result of the use of multiple strategies to produce one of its
characteristics of contradiction and complexity, as well as its clarity in the diversity of mass
customization.
With regard to the fourth type of relationship, which is determined by the nature of the
concepts that are intertwined between the concept of form and the concept of structure, it
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clearly highlights the concept of nature simulations and the concept of complexity and nonEuclidean geometry in the products of this architecture.
The high technologies, the multiplicity of intellectual references, the diversity and the
high flexibility that characterize architecture in the digital age make it comprehensive in its
formations and outputs for all patterns of relation between the concept of form and the
concept of constructional structure, but took a new approach in shifting "form making" to
"finding form" Digital generation techniques that varied their intellectual references and
formal possibilities.
5. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND ECOLOGY MORPHING
In the last decade of the last century, the world has paid particular attention and attention to
ecological aspects, the concept of ecology means the science of relationships between
organisms and the physical environment, or the surrounding environment, whereby materials
and energy exchange the ecosystem.
Morphing means the study of the shape and build of the structure, which is one of the
branches of biology that deals with the form of the animal and the plant (the shape of the
object or its parts), or the science of morphological transformations, the study of the
appearance, shape and structure of the organism based on external characteristics [22].
The definition in the field of architecture: it is the construction of formal patterns
generated and modified by the adoption of digital technology borrowed from natural and
unnatural forms, a hybrid bearing the features of the formal reference in their production.
The ecological design takes into consideration the environmental and climatic
characteristics and the natural boundaries of the project site and its impact on the design
system and its work, rather than focusing solely on the building in isolation from the
biosphere. The ecological design aims to achieve a symbiotic relationship between the plant
system and the ecosystem, Ecological system surrounds the designer and as a natural part of
the continuity of its architecture.
The propositions also pointed out how to deal with nature and through the metaphorical
shapes, models, conical, circular, cylindrical and spherical structures with high stability and
the tendency of formal formations to be free from engineering towards membership, flow and
dynamism achieved for self-adaptation and simulation of the shapes of living creatures with
high efficiency and metaphorical formations to support the composition of structure,
harmonize the form with the outer context and integrate it with it, and simulate the shape of
the topography of the site and try to dissolve the formal boundaries with the natural and the
formal mix between engineering and organic in nature[23].
The hypotheses also included the use of the genetic algorithm in the architectural
formations through the adoption of computer simulations, and the development of a model of
a virtual digital environment representing populations of virtual flora and fauna. The concept
of the genetic algorithm, which refers to the relationship between the virtual genes and the
virtual physical properties it produces to produce new and non- Expected and exciting [24].
6. CONCLUSIONS
1- The relationship between the form and the structure in architecture came in four patterns:
compact, overlapping, sequential relationship and overlap with other concepts.
2- Modern architecture tends to constructional structure as a determinant of the form, but
postmodern architecture tends to the form as determinant of the structure.
3- Postmodern architecture was expand its interests influenced by changes in other fields of
knowledge, which led to the emergence of diversity in the forms of buildings.
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4- The digital form at the level of cognitive knowledge references had taken four main
concepts: free form, morphology, parameter and performance.
5- Form in architecture in digital age is considered as determinant to the constructional
structure.
6- Digital generation techniques is took a new approach which presents shifting "form
making" to "finding form" which depends on varied their intellectual references and formal
possibilities.
7- Ecology Morphing in architecture mean: the construction of formal patterns generated and
modified by the adoption of digital technology borrowed from natural and unnatural forms.
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The Constructional Structure and its Relation to form in Late Contemporary Architecture
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AUTHOR’S DETAILS
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